Jan 07

SHOULD YOU GET A FLU SHOT? OR ARE YOUR COVID PRECAUTIONS ENOUGH?

The answer to the first question is YES. You should get vaccinated for the flu during this influenza season. (That is, right away, if you haven’t yet.) Why?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the flu and COVID-19 are caused by completely different viruses. If you get a flu shot, it won’t protect you from the coronavirus. And if you receive a COVID-19 vaccination early this year, it won’t protect you against the flu.

This is ironic, since the two viruses exhibit similar symptoms and are treated and prevented in similar ways.

Similar symptoms

  • Both illnesses affect your lungs and breathing and can spread to others.
  • Both spread in the same way: Virus particles emitted by the mouth or nose affect people nearby.
  • Both can cause fever, coughs, body aches, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Infected people can spread the virus to others before they feel sick. This can happen over several days.
  • Both diseases can be fatal.

Similar treatments

  • Antibiotics don’t work with the flu and COVID-19.
  • Antiviral medications may work to some extent.
  • Both illnesses are treated by addressing symptoms, such as by reducing fever.
  • Severe cases may require hospitalization and possibly the use of a ventilator, which helps patients breathe.

Similar preventions

  • Wear a face mask, shield, or both.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Don’t shake hands with other people.
  • Stay a safe distance from others – six feet or more.
  • Cough into the inside of your elbow, not your hands.
  • Limit your contact with people you know are infected.
  • If you feel sick, self-quarantine. Isolate yourself for two weeks, stay away from family and pets, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. Here’s more advice on this subject from the Mayo Clinic.

For more information, check out this infographic from Johns Hopkins Medicine and this web page (including a video) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here at Advanced Home Care Services, our nurses and home health care aides are trained to recognize the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 in our elderly and infirm clients. We rigorously follow the advice of the CDC regarding detecting these illnesses and conducting appropriate follow-up. Our employees also wear the latest in Personal Protective Equipment, both for their clients’ safety and their own.

Bottom line? Protect yourself from both the flu and the coronavirus as 2021 begins. And make sure you get a flu shot, despite whatever measures you take to avoid infection by COVID-19.

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